“Good Afternoon. My name is Russell and I’m a Wilderness Explorer”

So tomorrow will mark my four-week move to Edinburgh, so I feel this is the perfect time for some reflection, as I sit in my cold room looking out at the rain falling from a wall of completely grey that is supposedly the sky (and I mean completely – there’s not even a hint of blue, or even a different shade of grey in there!).

Snax brunch

As the old saying goes: ‘time flies’ and I’ve only come to really understand that saying since my move here. As one of my flatmates informed us as we sat in Snax for brunch this morning: the two American girls in our flat are going home in two months. Man, that’s not long at all. It’s gonna be tough saying bye, we’re like a little family.

I love my dad

This past month has been filled with so many memories and adventures already. And, of course, so many emotions. Most of those emotions are happy ones though of course there have been the few days of homesickness (more like few hours, but don’t tell my family that – they might be offended!). Though I will admit, the copious amounts of letters, birthday cards, and birthday cupcakes from my dad (yes, I turned 21 last week!) have made all the difference.

Looking Glass BooksOnce I got over the exhaustion that is attempting to make friends with everyone you come across during Fresher’s Week and the first week of class, things have settled down a bit and I’ve gotten into somewhat of a routine. Anyone who knows me will know that I’m incredibly organised, and so: Routine. Is. Everything. But I’m attempting to be slightly more adventurous, so the spontaneous trips to coffee shops over the past few weeks have been great. And because I have an undying love of hot chocolate, I’ve decided to make it my mission to find the best hot chocolate I can while I’m here over the year. It may be ambitious, but I’m going to try. My favourite (so far, mind!) has been the lavender hot chocolate in Looking Glass Books – though that may have been due to how completely relaxed I was after it. But tomorrow’s another day, and I think I’ll be spending it (or at least an hour or two) sipping hot chocolate somewhere in the city. Ooh, and another gem I’ve found near Uni has got to be The Potting Shed. £3 for a hot drink and a piece of (fabulous) cake, while you sit in a bar-come-cafe that has gardening pots as lampshades? Yes please!

Needless to say, my sort-of spontaneity doesn’t stop at coffee shops, oh no. A few weekends ago, my flatmate Sam and I decided to go to St Andrew’s for the day. The panic of nearly missing the train (don’t ever forget your ticket reservation number, it’s important!) soon turned to excitement as we whizzed through the countryside, and were dumped at a little train station about an hour outisde the city. A short bus ride later (made all the more entertaining by the other tourists on the bus), and we were in the tiny village (or town? I don’t know what to call it) of St Andrew’s. After a walk along the pier and the harbour, we climbed up stairs, stairs…and more stairs to the top of St Rule’s tower. And even though I nearly died from the climb (that I was totally unprepared for), the view was spectacular. The best part though was the big plate of fresh fish and chips that we tucked into afterwards. And then, to make things even more exciting, we went to the old castle. ‘Old castle?’ you say, ‘that can’t be very exciting.’ But you’re wrong there. The ruins itself were cool, and the views pretty, but around the back there’s a mine and countermine, and that’s the exciting part. (Or maybe we’re just über nerdy and that’s why it’s cool?!) Yes, it did feel like a bit of a trap when we went down by ourselves and almost resorted to crawling along the passageway, but it was definitely the highlight of the trip – so unexpected! We (well, I, at least) felt like an explorer, just like Russell the Wilderness Explorer from Up. Ok, that was a terrible analogy, if even an analogy, but I’m sure you get what I mean…hopefully.

…And I think on that note I best stop rambling, it’s getting embarrassing. But yeah, so far so good here. It’s only been a month, but I already feel at home in the city. I’ll be off on loads more adventures (I hope!), starting with Sterling Castle this weekend. And so to end this blog post, can I just make a plea: please don’t judge me on my blogging skills (or lack therof!), this is the first blog I’ve ever written for. It will get better!